Release Date: September 7th 2018 (Shine) / October 5th 2018 (Look Up) / October 26th 2018 (Miracles)
Reviewed by: Joshua Andre
Newsong– Shine/Look Up/Miracles (Single)
- Look Up
If you guys haven’t heard about the ever-reliable veteran CCM band Newsong by now, then I won’t write any more paragraphs on a ‘long-ish intro’ like the previous reviews. I’ve written plenty of reviews of their material (4 reviews of singles from this year/last year, as well as reviews of their 2016 Christmas album and of their 2015 live worship anthem- all of which you can view here!); so before you dive in and read about how the band’s latest three singles “Shine”, “Look Up” and “Miracles” have all resonated in my own life, you can first skim through the intros on the previous reviews. Ok, so have you all done that? Good! Now that you’re up to date with the band and how they’ve created countless albums, are still hosting Winter Jam every year, and seem to have no plans of slowing down, even though they’re all in their late 50’s/early 60’s; it’s time to see how their next three new songs fare to other hit CCM songs in 2018.
“Miracles”, rather than a cover of the hit worship melody from Jesus Culture (like I thought and expected!), is a re-recording of their single from 1997, and like “Can’t Keep A Good Man Down”, is modernised just a bit, but still maintaining its 90’s atmosphere. The result is a hopeful and inspiring acoustic guitar and keys ballad that still has relevance today, as Russ Lee passionately leads the track and proclaims that after everything that Jesus has done for us, the fact stays true that we should believe in miracles. It has happened in the past and we can see it with our own eyes. “Shine” is a laid back, chill track led by electronics and synth, as Eddie Carswell and Russ Lee trade lead vocals, relaying to us that Jesus has done so much for us, so all we can do to further the kingdom of God, and all we should be doing, is shining for Jesus in everything we do, so that the world can see the impact He has had in our lives. Yet it is “Look Up”, NewSong’s final offering that we are introduced to, that is one of the catchiest songs they’ve ever recorded, as we are blessed to hear a pop song through and through about how in the midst of adversity, Jesus is right there with us- all we need to do is look up, because ‘…grace goes deeper than you can fall…’.
While 2013’s Swallow The Ocean may not have been the most lyrically creative or musically challenging album out, and 2015’s Faithful is in another category all together (praise and worship category!), with the worship anthems present being some of my favourite worship songs of 2015; “I Am A Christian” is Newsong at their brilliant best- it’s great to hear Matt, Russ and Billy sing songs and reinvent themselves over the years, and evolving their style to stay relevant, yet also never wavering in their faith and their heavily Bible based lyrics. “Down”, “Bright”, “Glue”, “Already Loved” and “Can’t Keep A Good Man Down” followed suit, and reminded us all that Newsong have done us proud and that they still can be considered a force to be reckoned with! Along with these familiar tracks though, the band’s last three tracks that have released each have me excited to hear what is next from Newsong. So while we wait for a brand new full length album, or EP, or whatever God is laying on their heart to do next (it seems like Newsong are releasing their songs just like how Sarah Reeves is in how she released Easy Never Needed You!); let us relax and be immersed in Newsong’s music- and if you haven’t heard of them, then now’s the perfect time to start! Well done guys, and I can’t wait to hear your next new song! (see what I did there!)
RIYL: Jason Crabb, Matt Redman, Chris Tomlin, Phillips Craig And Dean, Steven Curtis Chapman